We think that’s awesome. A farmers market may seem like an unusual venue to host physical activity, but when you think about it, adding physical activity to a market makes sense!
Medical experts agree that the keys to a high quality of life are a healthy diet and physical activity. West Virginia has taken great strides to increase access to healthy foods in the past 5 years, and has seen the growth of many community farmers markets.
Now it’s time to build on the physical activity side of the equation. Physical activity has benefits beyond controlling your weight. It can help:
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce risk of some cancers
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Improve mental health and mood
- Increase chances of living longer
What if we began to view farmers markets and similar events not just as food-focused, but as gatherings that support a healthy lifestyle overall?
Including an opportunity for physical activity at farmers markets may seem like a crazy idea,
but it can:
- Broaden the appeal of the market – people who might not come for vegetables may come for yoga, Zumba, or hula hooping; once at the market they’re more likely to make a purchase.
- Give people a reason to spend more time at the market – a shopper who may normally show up and leave in 30 minutes could end up staying for 2 hours.
- Create a “captive audience” of shoppers – if a family member or friend is waiting for someone to finish a group activity class, they will likely spend that time browsing the market.
- Make people hungry – after being active people are more likely to be hungry, increasing the chance of purchasing food.
- Help to build a culture of overall health – diet & exercise all in one place!
There is a growing awareness of the importance of physical activity for a healthy life. The Bridgeport Farmers Market is leading the way in creating a culture of health for West Virginians.
The West Virginia Physical Activity Network is all about sharing great ideas for promoting physical activity in communities across the state. Learn more at www.facebook.com/WVPAN